Legitimating Limburgish: The reproduction of heritage

Camps, D. M.J. (2017) Legitimating Limburgish: The reproduction of heritage. In: Lane, P., Costa, J. and De Korne, H. (eds.) Standardizing Minority Languages: Competing Ideologies of Authority and Authenticity in the Global Periphery. Series: Routledge Critical Studies in Multilingualism (13). Routledge, pp. 66-83. ISBN 9781315647722 (doi: 10.4324/9781315647722)

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This chapter examines the (re)production of heritage discourses in relation to processes of standardization and language legitimation. In 1997, Limburgish, formerly considered a dialect of Dutch, was acknowledged by local and national authorities as a regional language under the European Charter for Regional and Minority Languages (ECRML). This treaty, under the auspices of the Council of Europe, provides the main framework for the protection and promotion of regional and minority languages as cultural heritage. The inclusion of Limburgish under the ECRML directed renewed focus to establishing and promoting spelling norms applicable to the various Limburgian dialects. Although the ECRML does not explicitly require standardization for languages protected under level II, this has been an area of significant activity, suggesting it plays a role in the local processes of language legitimation. The interest here is in demonstrating how policies decided at provincial or national level are taken up locally by social actors involved in language promotion. This investigation focuses on how a teacher in a local classroom appropriates an ideology of heritage to create legitimacy both for himself as a person with the authority to speak about prescriptive norms for Limburgish and for the local dialect. The data show that, in contrast to the heritage discourse articulated at European, national, and regional scales which valorizes Limburgish through discourses of shared heritage and language endangerment, at the local level, heritage also articulates with discourses of historicity and difference and is closely linked to a discourse of linguistic expertise. This chapter highlights how discourses entextualized in policy texts are taken up, adapted, and modified at the local scale to create legitimacy for Limburgish as a language.

Item Type:Book Sections
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Camps, Dr Diana
Authors: Camps, D. M.J.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Law
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2017 Taylor & Francis
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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